Family Weekend proved to be a valuable experience for all of us here at Dublin. Faculty enjoyed meeting and reacquainting themselves with the parents of their students and advisees. Moreover, we were glad that the families were able to share in the inaugural performances of the new music program, headed by Mario Flores, and the animated and colorful dance pieces choreographed by Jenny Foreman and Erika Rogers.
An important aspect of the weekend was the opportunity to share the project of educating students between parents and faculty through conferences and mini-classes. These abbreviated classes are one of the traditions we are most proud of in our Family Weekend. Not only does it give the faculty the ability to engage with the parents’ thoughts and perspectives, but furthermore it allows our parents to walk in their children’s shoes and experience Dublin’s education first-hand. Teachers put a lot of thought into creating meaningful experiences for the parents; here are reports on the diverse range of topics and activities that took place on that Saturday morning:
“Chemistry classes did a shortened version of the Flame Test lab we did in class with the students. We had samples of different compounds, and we put them in a flame to identify the compounds. When the electrons in the compounds are excited from the energy in the flame, they move from one energy level to another and emit photons, in a color specific to the compound. This is a method chemists use to identify unknown compounds. For AP Environmental Science, I brought the parents down to the Orchard. This term, the class researched apple, pear and blueberries and designed a plan to plant the hillside. I showed the parents the end result of their children’s project,” says Science teacher Katri Jackson. Latin teacher Nellie Herman reports: “In Latin I & II mini-classes we looked at Latin vocabulary and corresponding English derivatives and translated a short Latin paragraph related to Aeneas, which led to a discussion on Vergil's "Aeneid" and other Roman historical facts.”
Cindy Ritter, French teacher: “In French III mini-class, I explained to parents that I am piloting a new program with their kids, the Rassias ALLP's (Accelerated Language Learning Program), developed by John Rassias of Dartmouth College for the Peace Corps. Daily drills are an integral part of the curriculum. I then demonstrated by using actual drills, with Rassias's trademark "snap, speak, point and repeat" method. It is very fast-paced and kept everyone on the edge of their seats. When I saw one parent at lunch afterwards, he told me that he was still feeling the effect of the class and admitted "I had to listen so carefully because I was afraid you were going to call on me!" This is exactly why French III students often leave class energized this year. Merci, John Rassias!” History teacher Erin Bouton described the Harkness learning that took place in her mini-classes: “For my history courses, parents were asked to consider a few quotes written on the board and they were asked their general thoughts or observations about how the quotes were related. This sparked an instant Harkness discussion in which parents were generating thought-provoking questions of their own, just as their students do on a regular basis. Everyone contributed to the learning!”
John Adams, geometry teacher: “I projected images on the board and had the parents come up and draw parallel lines, alternate exterior angles, alternate interior angles, corresponding angles, same side interior angles, and transversals right over the projected image. They were given the attached cheat sheet as well. It was a class full of art, architecture, geometry, fun, and participation.” And lastly, art teacher Earl Schofield reports: “We talked about art and ecological or complex systems thinking; how photo is a system and helps students think outside Cartesian linear thinking. Drawing is a skill, art is a series of decision made about how to manipulate the elements of art to a certain effect in the expression of ideas and feelings. Vision is a huge stream of data that we mine in different ways at different times and drawing is about mastering those mining techniques and having conscious control over them.”
Thank you to all families who were able to join us for the weekend and share their time, energy, thoughts and creativity with us.